While Samsung reported fantastic first quarter 2012 results, the biggest story may be one they didn’t even touch on. Samsung has overtaken Nokia as the world’s largest vendor of mobile phones for the first time, ending Nokia’s 14-year run at the top. According to research firm Strategy Analytics, Samsung shipped an estimated 93.5 million handsets in the first quarter, compared to Nokia’s 82.7 million phones. Samsung’s numbers include 44.5 million smartphones, a great number of which are Android-based.
“Last year Samsung became No. 1 in Europe while Nokia retained the No. 1 position in most emerging markets,” Tom Kang, a Seoul-based research analyst at Strategy Analytics, said in a phone interview today. “In the first quarter, we expect Samsung took a lot of market share from Nokia in Asia. China and India were the two biggest markets where Samsung gained.”
As it stands, Samsung and Apple combine make for half of the worlds smartphone shipments. Samsung isn’t looking to stop their growth either as they are poised to take an even larger lead with the launch of the Galaxy S III/S3 next month.